"I cain't wait to see them cheerleaders grapplin' with one another on the sidelines. Shoot-fire, I cain't wait to see somebody gun down the blimp."
——Guy With The Goggles on the XFL


PoMo Football Vies With PlayStation 2 For
The Hearts & Minds Of Our Lovable Cretins
While the nagging pain in that size 22 gives Kobe and the rest of us a chance to experience what life without Shaq would be like, we find ourselves drawn—half against our will—to the debut of the XFL, much as our eyes would be drawn to a car wreck on the side of the 405. But if you've vowed to avoid that spectacle, we'd like to suggest a few alternative diversions.

George Harrison, "All Things Must Pass" (GN/Capitol Records):
Arguably one of the three best Beatles solo albums, alongside John's "Plastic Ono Band" and Paul's "Band On The Run," George' original box set has been miniaturized for the Digital Age. It now sports a color version of its famous black-and-white cover shot with George sitting in a chair on the grounds of his English estate alongside several lounging leprechauns. Five tracks have been added, including an updated "My Sweet Lord (2000)," which we probably could've done without, but Harrison thankfully resisted the urge to tone down the booming Spectorian production with contempo mixes. Rather than sounding dated, the record—featuring the memorable "My Sweet Lord," "Wah-Wah," "What Is Life," Dylan's "If Not For You" and the title track—now seems almost impossibly rich in its analog expansiveness, as Harrison positively spews out his long-bottled-up creative juices. The reissue retains the original triple album's monster jam session (y'know, the one comprising the vinyl Disc Three that no one we know ever listened to) featuring a lineup—including Eric Clapton (whose previously uncredited guitar lines are all over the album), Jim Gordon, Carl Radle and Bobby Whitlock—that would soon turn into Derek & The Dominos. If Lennon was the band's philosophical head and McCartney its melodic heart, this album cements the Quiet Beatle's role as its spiritual center and soul. For more information, see www.allthingsmustpass.com
—Roy Trakin & Bud Scoppa

Thank Gawd we finally got some REAL football bein' played, now that the NF of L is over. Shoot, no more sissy fair-catchin', no more sissy point-after kicks, one foot in bounds sounds like a good time to me. I cain't wait to see them cheerleaders grapplin' with one another on the sidelines. Shoot-fire, I cain't wait to see somebody gun down the blimp. But my favorite part of this here new game is the coin flip, which there ain't one. The ball is put on the middle of the field on the 50-yard line, and one designated player from each team gets to run at the ball, and whoever comes up with it wins the right to kick or receive. Coin flips is fer sissies. I'd pick the games for you this week, but there ain't no point spread and it's just too damn easy. Die, Al Davis.  

"In The Mood For Love":
This Cantonese/Shanghainese film from writer/director Wong Kar-Wai could springboard off the left-field success of Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger…," though it is a much different film. Taking place in Hong Kong circa 1962, it's a rapturous, seductive romance suffused with a heartbreaking pop soundtrack that features Nat King Cole. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung play neighbors in adjacent apartments who discover their spouses are having an affair and are forced to console one another.  Despite their mutual yearning, they are unable to act on their desires. Geez, that sounds like my life.  Oh, yeah. The N.Y. Times called it "probably the most breathtakingly gorgeous film of the year, dizzy with a nose-against-the-glass romantic spirit that has been missing from the cinema forever, a spirit found in F. Scott Fitzgerald [and] the best Roxy Music." Terrific. Just in time for the classic art-rockers' recently announced reunion plans.

"Head Over Heels": This latest Freddie Prinze, Jr. vehicle stars the actor as an upwardly mobile fashion executive with a thing for watching Beluga whales frolicking at the zoo. He lives across the street from an apartment house whose residents include an art restorer/love interest (played by Monica Potter) and a bevy of beautiful supermodel-types who keep taking slapstick pratfalls. The plot involves Russian mobsters, a damaged Titian painting and "Rear Window"-styled voyeurism, with the onscreen possibility Prinze might have beaten a young woman to death with a baseball bat. The latter fate could well be preferable to sitting through this one.

"The Million Dollar Hotel": Wim Wenders' latest L.A. film noir looks like it marks a return to his '83 American bow, "Hammett." Unfortunately, most of the hype around its delayed release has centered around the feud between star Mel Gibson, whose company produced the film, and co-screenwriter/co-producer Bono of U2, about whether Gibson was trying to sabotage the film's prospects by telling the press it was "boring." Gibson plays an FBI agent investigating the murder of a junkie who turns out to be a media mogul in an L.A.flophouse peopled by all sorts of colorful characters. Predictably, Wenders leans more towards atmosphere than plot. The musical score was composed by Bono, who sings a nifty cover of Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love"; the soundtrack also boasts tracks from Jon Hassell, Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, along with ex-Cruzado Tito Larriva's version of the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy In the U.K." The supporting cast includes Milla Jovovich, Jimmy Smits, Peter Stormare (the bad guy with the white hair in "Fargo"), Amanda Plummer, Bud Cort, Julian Sands, Tim Roth, Richard Edson and Harris Yulin.

"The Invisible Circus": This look back at the tumultuous '60s, as in 1960s, is based on a novel by Jennifer Egan about a Bay Area teen (Yalie Jordana Brewster) who tries to retrace the steps of her dead sister (Cameron Diaz) from Paris to Berlin to Portugal, only to end up falling in love with her sibling's ex-boyfriend (Christopher Eccleston). There's plenty of soap opera, talk of Vietnam and civil rights and the impossibility of retrieving either lost loves or time. Which sounds like as good an excuse as any to avoid the 92 minutes it would take to watch this Adam Brooks-produced and written potboiler. —Roy Trakin

"No man can understand why a woman should prefer a good reputation to a good time." —Helen Rowland

NBA Live 2001:
For all you music industry fanatics of this new wonderful game console called Playstation 2, I will be doing weekly reviews of the hottest games—so you don't have to waste your precious money on sum wack sheeeittt. This week, we get started with one of the most anticipated games of the year, NBA Live 2001. This one is brought to you by EA Sports, the geniuses behind that amazin' game Madden 2001. We have to start by sayin' that the graphics are incredible, and you will enjoy this game to the fullest. NBA Live 2001 lets you control the post or live above the rim with new moves—up and under, drop-step, jump-hook and more. With all-new player reactions, bench sequences and redesigned commentary, this game comes alive. —Latin Prince

Let's say you're working the front desk at, oh, I dunno, a weekly trade magazine. You're too bored and indifferent to pretend to look busy, but you're sick of playing computer solitaire. Don't despair—now there's a new interactive time-waster to tickle your imagination. That's right, smalltime.com now offers "Guess The Dictator Or Television Sit-Com Character," an online game wherein you pretend to be someone from one of the two categories in the title and the program tries to guess who you are with a batch of yes-or-no questions. It's pretty canny, especially with TV characters—it correctly divined such choices as Lt. Uhura, Mrs. Livingston and Gordy the Weatherman. Still, it was stymied by Siegfried from "Get Smart" and Salvadoran strongman Roberto D'Aubuisson. Good luck! —Simon Glickman

The Incredible Moses Leroy, "Electric Pocket Radio" (Ultimatum/Artemis): If you're interested in hearing an amazingly musical new record, then call someone over at Ultimatum or Artemis and get 'em to send you an advance of the debut album (it's coming in the spring) from this intriguing new artist. On the surface, it's somewhat Beck-like, but to leave it at that would be to miss this young's artist's particular brand of inventiveness. The fact is that John Lenac and I keep getting multiple copies of the colorful little advance package, which disappear as quickly as they arrive. It's quickly becoming one of the most talked-about records here at the HITS cesspool. —Mike Morrison

Benjamin Harrison, our 23rd president, was born in North Bend, OH, on August 20,1833. He commanded the 70th regiment during the Civil War and rose to the rank of Brigadier General. His soldiers called him "Little Ben", because he was 5-foot-6. His great-grandfather (also named Benjamin Harrison) signed the Declaration of Independence. His grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was the ninth president of the United States. Best Anagram Of His Name: Shin banjo mariner.

Real Creepy:
So, let's say you've got about six grand burnin' a hole in your pocket and you've already bought yourself the new Mac Titanium Powerbook G4. And let's also say you're a bit lonely, shameless and vaguely creepy. Well, then I believe you're exactly the demographic targeted by the folks at RealDoll.com. For just $5,749 (plus $450 shipping), you can have the "world's most realistic love doll." Made of high-grade silicone (around a steel skeleton), the doll has an eerie sense of realism about it—in a "dead prostitute" sort of way. For real entertainment, go to the FAQ page on the site for the answers to such burning questions as "When will you offer a she-male RealDoll?"; "Tell me more about the doll's entries"; and "Does the silicone flesh have a foul odor?" (turns out, it has a pleasant, fruit-like fragrance!). —Jeff Drake

Hairy Palms: And you thought that you had problems? Let me introduce you to the evils that 95% of you are committing and do not realize it. The Americans For Purity, www.geocities.com/capitolhill/senate/2680/, are "exposing the REAL Number One Public Health Problem in America today: Masturbation." One of the highlights of the site is a graph of the correlation between the crime rate and masturbation. If you thought that hairy palms were the worst thing that would happen to you, they inform us that chronic Masturbation causes weakness, depression, forgetfulness and near-sightedness. So if you're having trouble reading this, or retaining what you've just read, be afraid, be very afraid. —Paul Karlsen

Upcoming Birthdays
Feb. 2-8
2—Tom Smothers
3—Johnny "Guitar" Watson
4—Alice Cooper
5—Hank Aaron
6—Bob Marley & Rip Torn
7—Chris Rock & Charles Dickens
8—James Dean & Nick Nolte

Special Events
February is Black History Month
2—Groundhog Day
3—Bean-Throwing Festival (Japan)
4—Perigean High Tides

A lifelong conflict is resurrected for Blair when her handicapped cousin Geri, an aspiring comedienne, pays a surprise visit on the eve of an award banquet honoring Blair.

Almost As Accurate As A Groundhog
With modern technological marvels such as TiVo, HomeGrocer, Kozmo and all the mockumentary porn you need, there's no reason to go outside on weekends. But should you choose to enter the analog world, here's what to expect from it. New Yorkers should experience a cloudy weekend, with scattered snow showers on Sunday. Temperatures on Saturday will range from the mid-30s to mid-20s. Our homies in Chicago, where the XFL's Enforcers frolic, will see similar weather, with cloudy skies on Saturday and snow a solid possibility on Sunday. Temps will hover on either side of the freezing mark. In Los Angeles the weather will be boring: sunny on Saturday with highs in the 70s and lows in the mid-50s. Sunday looks to be a beautiful day, partly cloudy with a high just under 80 and a low in the upper 50s. Yawn.
—David Simutis, apprentice meterologist.


Our favorite cartoon character is back on our minds. (8/4a)
The planets are aligning. (8/4a)
Rapino makes change for a quarter. (8/4a)
Billie's back...on her own terms. (8/4a)
It's high time for Justice in the Academy. (8/4a)
From tender shoots to mighty oaks.
Let's do the numbers.
It is not the name of a Henry Miller novel.
Could be. Dunno.

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